A message from Boris Berian's agent, Hawi Keflezighi
I need your support. In today's David vs. Goliath battle, my client Boris Berian and I are David and Nike is Goliath. Nike has sued Boris for breach of a contract that expired in December 2015. This lawsuit has been covered by many major media outlets including the front page of the Wall Street Journal. LetsRun.com has a dedicated section with all of the information about this case: http://www.letsrun.com/events/nike-v-boris-berian-lawsuit/
Future legal costs for Boris and his team are expected to exceed $25,000.
As a result, I am asking all of my family, friends and supporters, to contribute to our ability to defend our position. Since Boris is one of the best 800 meter runners in the world, we suggest any donation including the numbers 800, you can put the decimal point where you want: $8, $80, $800, or if you're balling out of control, $8,000, or anything in between. We want to raise enough money to support Boris during this challenging time. Any excess funds will be donated to the Big Bear Track Club, the non-profit running club that has helped Boris get to where he is today.
Here is some background about Boris' athletic career:
Two years ago today, Boris's life was very different. Having dropped out of college, he was sleeping on a friend's' couch and working at McDonald's. At night, he went to the track to train by himself. Since then, Boris has made enormous progress. He moved across the country to train with the Big Bear Track Club, had the guts to compete against the best runners in the sport and even pulled off a Gold Medal win at the Indoor World Championships in February. Boris' journey has been featured on People.com: http://www.people.com/people/package/article/0,,20996464_20995092,00.html
Over the last two years, Boris went from a young man with an uncertain future to being one of America’s best hopes and stories leading into the 2016 Olympics. Yet his dreams are on the cusp of being shattered as Boris faces a lawsuit that is disrupting his focus and costing him tens of thousands of dollars to fight. Luckily, Boris is a resilient young man, wining the Diamond League 800m race in Eugene, within a week of being sued by Nike.
Here is a little background on the legal side of the story: Boris’ 7-month contract with Nike expired at the end of 2015 (which was negotiated by a different agent). For the next 180 days, we were required to send any offers we received for his endorsement to Nike, and Nike would have a chance to match the offer within 10 business days. We received and sent an offer to Nike on January 20th. This offer was for a guaranteed 3-year contract without ANY reductions. Nike said they would match it, but they weren’t sure about the reductions element. From a legal standpoint, a match has to be complete and certain. The uncertainty in Nike's attempt to match made it incomplete and thus unsuccessful. To make matters worse, Nike sent a long-form contract to Boris that included 2 pages of reductions. From a legal perspective, this would have made Nike's contract terms a counter-offer for Boris to accept or decline, which we promptly declined. For an overview and example of our legal position, please watch this video about what makes a counter-offer: https://youtube.com/watch?v=Gc_UiMWxVbM
I've talked to over 12 lawyers and every single one of them supports our legal position. But when a multi-billion dollar company sues an individual, the athlete has to defend himself in the court system and the expensive legal process. This situation has raised important questions about all athletes' rights. This case has a chance to be a landmark case in athlete's rights, especially in the sport of running. Thus far, Boris and I have funded the legal costs to defend our strong legal position. But it seems to us that Nike is using every tactic possible to increase our legal costs and have Boris surrender his position. But Boris has decided to fight for his rights! This is not an Anti-Nike campaign. Nike has done so many great things in the sport of running. But in this case, we are in disagreement on the issue and the tactics.
Please contribute what you can, and spread #FREEBORIS on social media, especially at 8:00pm (your local time).
Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
Please check back soon!
This campaign has ended or is not currently active.
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